A Community-Level Effort to Motivate Physician Participation in the National Committee for Quality Assurance Diabetes Physician Recognition Program

While physicians may want to participate in quality improvement (QI) initiatives in their practices, many barriers exist that prevent them from doing so, including time constraints, cost of activities, lack of financial incentives and staff burnout.

Compensating participants for participation in predefined QI activities helps address their concern about the time and cost involved.

This case study involved a regional QI initiative to improve delivery of care to people with diabetes through participation in the National Committee for Quality Assurance‘s Diabetes Physician Recognition Program (DPRP) that assesses performance on 10 care measures. Practices received application fees ($300 per physician, up to $2,700 per practice) and an honorarium of $1,000 per physician per year of participation. Participants received consulting services to implement QI activities and complete the DPRP application.

The practices provided feedback to a multi-plan diabetes registry. In all, 79 participants representing eight practices took part, with 47 percent receiving DPRP recognition. During the course of the initiative, physicians made changes to their care and documentation processes.

The study authors observed that size was unrelated to receipt of DPRP recognition and that strong physician leadership and existing QI infrastructure was important.

All practice managers felt that their participation provided a catalyst for future QI activities.